Jim's Marketing Blog

Marketing ideas to help you grow your business

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The 12 habits of highly effective business owners!

Here are 12 habits of highly effective business owners.

  1. They are brave enough to risk being wrong.  In fact, unless you are prepared to get it wrong, you’re not doing it right.  The only people who never fail, are the people who lack the courage to try, (which is failure in itself.)  Failure to fail, is failure.
  2. They are approachable.  If you want people to get in touch with you, they need to feel comfortable doing so.
  3. They are willing to listen (a lot.)  The best way to ensure that your products, services and marketing messages are on target, is to FIRST listen to your marketplace.  Listen.  Learn.  Act.
  4. They are patient.  That ebook was wrong; you can’t succeed overnight.  You can, however start the process of change instantly.  It takes time to get from where you are to where you want to be, but the journey is amazing.  Embrace the journey!
  5. They value their time.  Time is your most valuable asset, yet many people surrender control of it.  Look after your time, so you have enough of it to do the things that matter each day.
  6. They are useful.
  7. They have a thick skin when it comes to business.  One of the challenges with being visible online, especially if you are not a sheep and have something to say, is that some people will disagree with you.  When (not if) they do, welcome it, take note and move on.  Don’t let the fear of what others may say, stop YOU from saying what you need to.  Critics can be useful too.
  8. They start the process of giving and receiving.  Zig Ziglar says; “If you help enough people get what they want, you can have anything you want.”  To fully understand what that means, you have to think for a while.  If you can get the message, then apply it, everything will change for you.
  9. They show up.  If you want to remain relevant to your clients, customers or community, you need to show up regularly.  Even when you are super-busy, make time to connect with people.
  10. They demonstrate leadership.  If, like many people I see online, you refer to yourself as a leader, back it up with action.  Very few of the leaders I know refer to themselves as leaders, they simply lead and let OTHERS look after the labels.  If you seldom step out of line, yet regularly follow the gurus and kiss their asses on their blogs and social media accounts, you’re not showing leadership.  You’re part of the flock.
  11. They commit to lifelong learning.  Take the classes and read the books.  To earn more, you must first become more.
  12. They are comfortable being themselves.  The only way to be seen as having unique value, is to be unique.  Don’t try and be just like someone else.  Be you.  You are a bigger deal than you might think!

Photo: Tuppus

How can I help you?

How’s business?

I am approaching the busiest period of the year for my services right now.  It’s the time where business owners return to work after their summer break, refreshed and wanting to improve their results.

Typically, I will see an increase in inquiries of around 500% or more.  One of the strategies I use, to make it possible for me to deal with all the genuine inquiries, is to write a post (like this one), which clarifies the kind of people who get the most from working with me.

Does this sound like you?

If you are a business owner, who is genuinely interested in developing your business and you’re prepared to work with me on putting the ideas we create into action, you can benefit massively from my 1 year marketing program.  I can help you attract great clients and increase your revenues and your profitability; via a whole year’s worth of unlimited access to me and my most powerful marketing and business development ideas.

Results

One of my clients this year is enjoying an increase in revenue of over 350% with an even greater increase in her profits.  She is a small business owner, in an industry where many of her counterparts are contracting or going broke.  Another client has been with me just 10 months and has already passed his sales targets for 2013.

I have also helped business owners worldwide to develop new income channels, where they attract residual income streams from the development and sale of online products.  This is an extremely attractive opportunity for those of you seeking to move away from the selling your time for money business model.  There are many, many other great examples I could give you, from great business owners all over the world, who I have the honour of working with.

Commitment

These results are not achieved through tricks or magic, but through a highly effective 1 year program.  I help my clients create compelling marketing, which delivers targeted results, based on proven, highly effective marketing strategies.  Even though I will be there for you every step of the way, to support, motivate and encourage you, it requires a commitment on your part too, to make it work.

I can provide you with the clarity, focus and direction you need.  I can show you specifically what kind of marketing you should be using and precisely how to use it.  I can help you develop a winning edge for your business, that will help you attract the kind of prospective clients you need.  If you are prepared to work with me on these ideas and strategies, then we will make a great team!

If you have that commitment, the results can be transformational for your business and also your lifestyle.  It’s not only your business that changes when your incomes increase the way many of my clients have seen.  Your entire quality of life changes too.

If you are genuinely interested in investing in your future, get in touch and let me know.  I recommend you do this as soon as you can, as places are limited and we are entering the busiest time of year for my business.

More engagement and more fun too!

How do you invest your time, when connecting with people online or publishing content?

I ask this, as over the past week, I made a few minor adjustments to the way I spend my time, which I would like to share with you.  The end result has been extremely valuable and a lot of fun too!

Over the past 7 days, I have probably connected with more people, than in any 1 week period since I started using the ‘net back in 1994.

Here’s what I have been doing

What I did, was to adjust the way I invest my time, so that rather than using it primarily to develop content for this site, I spread it more evenly across a few other activities.

So, as well as writing here, I have really enjoyed blogging for my other site; Internet Marketing Jam.   I also connected with more and more great people over on Google+.  In addition, I have been commenting on other people’s blogs a lot more too; something I love to do, but have not had time for in ages.

I will work on improving my spread of activities again next week…. and the week after.

Photo: zoutedrop

Question: Do you run a business or a job?

More of the same or something different?

We all ask ourselves that question from time to time, as we strive to improve our quality of life or get our work/life balance in closer harmony.  The thing is, it is all too easy to think we are going for something new and better, when in reality we have just repeated the same core errors.

For example, I received an email this week from a reader, who I will call Bob.  Bob explained that he had worked as a web designer for a large, New York based web design company for 4 years.  He left and set up his own web design business, because he was sick of his boss and wanted to make more money.  3 years later, he tells me he works almost twice as many hours for just 30% more income and instead of having one boss, he feels like he has dozens of bosses (his clients), who he works for, rather than with.

Many courageous people make the change from employee to business owner, yet they bring their employee mindset with them.  They often end up not running a business, but running a job!  In fact, many of the people who work with me on my mentoring program made similar mistakes to Bob, so I work with them to turn what they are doing into an effective business.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, I strongly recommend you either learn how to transition what you do so that your business is working for you, or find someone like myself who already knows what you need to do and can help.

It’s both soul destroying and 100% unnecessary for you to carry on running a job, if you really want to be directing an exciting and profitable business instead.

Photo: Aaaarrrrgggghhhh

A dog ate my report!

The most successful business owners tend to be better at executing their plans, than finding kick-ass excuses why they didn’t deliver.

The most average business owners are often extremely creative, when it comes to explaining why they consistently fail to do what’s required.

Whilst compelling excuses may get us off the hook from taking responsibility, our results are always determined by what we do; not how convincing our justifications are.

How to enjoy business success in this uncertain economy

As a glance at the news will confirm, these are very uncertain economic times.  This means people are thinking a lot harder now, before they decide who they spend their money with.  Money is a resource and when resources are low or we believe they are under threat, we use them very carefully.

Thankfully, when it comes to marketing and developing your business, we know what to do in times like these.  Back in 2007, we saw 2 strategies widely used by small and medium sized business owners:

  1. Some did nothing, hunkered down and hoped things would pick up, before they went broke.  Hope is not a business strategy, and as we know, many sadly went out of business.
  2. Others used the uncertainty as an opportunity to gain a disproportionate market share.  They did this by developing a strategy that attracted those clients, who would have previously gone to the providers who were hunkering down and hoping.

Although you can’t change the economy, you have complete control over the path you take with your business through these turbulent times.  Just like the sail of a ship being adjusted to benefit from the changing winds, you can adjust your marketing to benefit from the current uncertain climate.  The good news, is that if you do the right things correctly, there is a huge opportunity out there.

Doing the right things, correctly

I was inspired to write this post after speaking with 2 clients yesterday, who coincidently both joined my marketing program during the last recession.  They are proof that a downturn in the economy can lead to an upturn in your fortunes, when you do the right things, correctly.

The first client has a small B2C business in Wisconsin and she has enjoyed a rise in turnover of over 250% since she joined my marketing program, with an even greater increase in her profits.  All this despite her industry being in a serious slump.  Ask her competitors why their businesses floundered and many blame the economy, which is not so.  The same economic turmoil faced my client, but she was doing the right things, correctly.  The second client owns a B2B company in the South West of England and he’s seen even greater results; again during a period where his competitors are in turmoil.

I’m not saying you are wrong to worry about all the uncertainty your prospective clients feel right now.  I’m saying that if you decide to do the right things correctly, rather than hunker down and hope it will end before your finances run out, you can do as my clients do and work it to your advantage.

It all starts with the commitment to do the right things, correctly.

  • Not to dabble.
  • Not to hit and hope.
  • Not to jump from one bad marketing effort to the next.

Those are ineffective strategies in even a good economy, let alone the worst commercial climate in living memory.

Photo: tenaciousme

If you don’t listen to this now you will hate yourself later!

Would you like to develop an extremely popular service, which significantly increases your revenues and profits?

If you just answered, “yes!” I have a question for you:  Do you listen to your marketplace?

I often hear from business owners, who bring a new service to market, only to find there is little demand.  What seemed like a great idea to them, was less appealing to their clients and prospective clients.  This happens because there’s often a big difference between what we think people need and what they actually need!

Listening

One of the best ways to avoid this happening to you, so your next new service is a huge success, is to listen to what your marketplace is saying.  Learn what their problems, fears and opportunities are and then, develop a service based on their needs.

Thankfully, it has never been easier to listen to what your marketplace is saying, than it is today.  Social sites like Twitter, Google+ and Facebook etc, make it possible to listen to people in your target market and get a real feel for what’s relevant to them.  Your clients and prospective clients often take their problems to social networks, in an effort to find answers or get support from people in similar situations.

The key is to listen.  I spend around 5% of my social networking time posting messages.  The vast majority of the time I am listening and learning how to better serve my marketplace.  As most of my non referral clients start off as readers of this blog, I listen extremely carefully to the messages in your comments and emails.  All that listening allows me to spot opportunities to help you.

For example, before I launched my new marketing consulting service last week, I knew there would be a high level of demand.  That’s because it provides something, which you have been asking me for; the opportunity to have me look over your business and give you the answers you need.  You asked for a high value, flexible way for you and your business to benefit from my answers and ideas, so I developed it for you and the response has been amazing.

Regardless of your industry or profession, you are paid to solve some kind of problem.  By listening to your marketplace, you can help ensure that your next new service is relevant, valued and in demand.

Photo: Rennett Stowe

Get inspired with this simple yet powerful idea!

In the village where I live, there are 2 routes you can take to the next village.

  • The first route is a regular road.  You can use this road to drive or cycle to the next village in minutes, but you won’t see a great deal.
  • The second route is a bumpy footpath across several fields.  You can only walk along this route, but if you do, you will see; a stream, flowers, birds of prey, frogs, cows, sheep, horses, goats… You get the picture.

The first route reminds me of the path some people take with their business.  They need a so-called “proven” plan, a Dummies Guide – Something they can follow without too many surprises.

The second route reminds me of those adventurous souls in business, who continuously look for fresh ideas and new ways to render a remarkable experience to their clients.

There’s an old saying I love, which tells us:

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

No one said business had to be boring or predictable.  If you feel a little uninspired with your business right now, take it off road for a little while.  You may find it extremely profitable!

Photo: s2ublack

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